Word Problems = NO PROBLEM :)

I don’t know about your Math experience in school, but mine was filled with excitement! My dad is a chemical engineer who added a masters in business to his resume in his 30’s (I distinctly remember being ‘sssshhh’d’ by my mom because dad was studying at the dining room table). But my favorite school memories include time spent with my dad working out the most difficult math problems that algebra, geometry, and trigonometry could throw at us. Word Problems are part of Third Grade’s homework: read, CUBES, show your work (aka HOW you thought about the problem and HOW you solved it), RACER, and write about your answer are key elements to success with these tricky problems. Real Life includes problems can be solved with Math–so as we move from addition & subtraction to multiplication & division, your child must be prepared to use these four operations in each and every Math Word Problem. In class we practice, make mistakes, try again, discuss strategies, and use pictures as well as numbers to demonstrate the understanding of these complicated problems. Please take the time to reason through and discuss the word problems that are meant to review what has been introduced and practiced in class, so that your child has the confidence needed to tackle all future ‘brain stretching’ questions in Math. It might just end up being one of your child’s favorite memories…

Explorers, Resources, and Money…Oh My! European Explorers are seen as heroes of their time: taking risks, thinking differently than their peers, and heading out for parts unknown. BUT, we are also viewing these scoundrels through the lens of the Native Americans who lived on and worshiped the North American continent. Which means we have entered into a variety of discussions about the good vs. the bad of discovering new lands–forcing some students to ‘disagree’ with one another as they learn more about life in the 1400’s through the 1600’s.

Reading: the foundation of all learning  takes on a whole new meaning in Third Grade! Picture Books segue into chapter books where pictures develop in the mind of the reader vs. on the pages before them. Words begin to take on new meanings: figurative language, antonyms, synonyms, multiple meanings. The key to success is stamina: can your child read for longer and longer periods of time, still understand the text, and continue to question & predict as they read. Reading transforms into being a Reader: looking for, guessing about, and using the text to discover meaning beyond the words on the page. Reading at home, in the car, while waiting for a sibling’s practice to end, and as they tuck into bed each evening is the new norm…I hope you and your family are experiencing the joy of reading with your children!

Spend Time not Money on your children: all will be richer for the experience!

Conference Week (10/16-20/17)

Early Dismissal All Week: 12:20PM

Lunch this week: 10:41-11:11AM

Specials this week: 11:30AM-12:00PM

All conferences with an interpreter will be in the Media Center (I’ll meet you there).

All other conferences will be in my classroom (#523).

Hoping to see all of you throughout the week so that we can discuss your amazing child’s progress so far and their goals for the coming months.

Multiplication and Division: It’s never too early to start practicing these facts (group three numbers together to form a fact family and talk about how they are related: 5, 2, 10 = 5X2=10 and 2X5=10 and 10 divided by 2=5 and 10 divided by 5 =2).

Reading Log: Each night, the students are asked to read for at least 20 minutes and then record the number of pages read and the number of minutes read. The books they bring home are the choices they have made from SPE’s Media Center. If the level seems too easy or too difficult, discuss this with your child so they can choose books that are ‘just right’.

Spelling: Each week there is a spelling list that comes home on Monday and the tests are taken on either Friday or the following Monday. Use creative ways to prepare: write in pen, type on computer, use letter tiles, write in the sand, etc.

Jackets & Snacks: As the morning weather is a little chilly, students are wearing jackets (and then leaving them in the classroom). We are working on being responsible for their supplies and personal belongings. Also, each morning there is a ‘working snack’ break: we continue to either read or work on math while noshing on healthy foods to fuel the brain for the remainder of the morning.

Thank you for taking the time to stay up-to-date with our 3G classroom!

Email: [email protected]

Sign up for remind texts: remind.com/classes/d7ge33

Happy Fall Y’All!

A few days of cooler weather is all it takes for me to get in the ‘fall spirit’! If your fall break was a busy as mine, I know your little ones will sleep well this weekend. I enjoyed time with my family in Arizona, Nevada, and California: took lots of pictures of the beautiful scenery of the southwest and experiences temperatures as chilly as 35 and as hot as 95!

We have just wrapped up the first quarter of this school year, and I am proud of the progress the students are making in Reading & Math. They have also experienced some hands-on crafts and experiments within the Science & Social Studies curriculum.. As we enter the 2nd quarter, the focus will be on non-fiction text in Reading, verbs & informational writing in ELA, and multiplication/division & area models in Math.

Conferences are just around the corner; a letter with the date of time of our meeting is on its way home (Mon, 10/9). Please check your calendar, sign the form, and return it to me so that I can cement the schedule. Some of you have requested an interpreter for the conference–those will take place in the Media Center (I’ll meet you there). Otherwise, the 20-minute conferences are in the classroom (Room 523). You will receive the 1st quarter report card, some information from SPE and the county, and we’ll have a chance to review your child’s progress thus far.

Donations:

  1. Thank you for your donations to the class Zoo-themed basket for the Fall Festival!!
  2. We are in need of individually wrapped peppermints (the students have them before a test to ‘wake up the brain’).
  3. Our glue sticks and pencil supply is running low, so if you find any good sales we’d appreciate them.

Homework:

There are some real go-getters who have filled multiple reading logs, and there are a few students who are either not reading or forgetting to write down what they read the night before. PLEASE encourage your child to read every day (EVERY day) for at least 20 minutes and then fill in the Reading Log in the blue communication folder.

Math pages are sent home Monday through Thursday and are expected to be completed and returned the next day. If you would prefer that your child receive all four assignments on Monday and then return them when completed, let me know and I’ll create a packet.

Multiplication & Division Facts: time to start practicing the ‘times tables’! Flashcards, online practice (iXL.com), write them out, or get creative. Make sure to ask your child about the patterns that they notice as they practice (even numbers, skip counting, ones digit, etc.)

Spelling: new lists are placed in the Agenda each week, we review the words in class but it is also necessary to practice at home to prepare for the test on either Friday or Monday each week.

Have a wonderful weekend! As always, feel free to communicate with me via email or remind.

Halfway through the 1st Quarter of 3G!

Our days are full of learning: lots of discussion, a myriad of questions, a variety of answers, and a never-ending desire to keep learning. Our class is amazing! Great books, challenging Math problems, and some interesting facts about the American Indian regions fill our time together. Thank you for sharing your sweet children with me on this journey!

Math: Whew! If rounding to the nearest 10 or 100 wasn’t enough to keep us busy, adding and subtracting numbers with two- and three-digits has our brains working hard. In 3rd Grade we concentrate on a variety of strategies to show understanding of the adding and subtracting processes: the traditional algorithm is NOT the go-to at this stage of mathematical development. Use your time reviewing the HW to have your child explain the other options (number line, rounding, base ten, and expanded form) for showing HOW they arrived at the answers. You might be surprised to ‘see’ how their brain works as they decipher the information. Word Problems are the newest focus for your young Mathematicians: reading, understanding, representing the details of the situation, solving AND explaining their thinking are all part of the required processes. Standardized Testing assessments include these skills, so we begin practicing now in order for the students to feel comfortable and confident–isn’t that what we ALL want?!

Standardized Testing: Since I brought up the subject…two types of tests are administered in 3G (ability and achievement) to measure the whole child: are they working to their potential, are there areas that can be supported so that growth can occur, etc. My focus is to guide your child through these required exams while remaining relaxed and confident (show what you know!). Attendance, on-time arrival, a healthy breakfast and a great night’s sleep are what I ask of you so that we can create the most positive of atmospheres. All testing takes place first thing in the morning and will last for about an hour for each of the seven days (Sept 6-15, 2017).

Reading: Oh. My. Goodness. My Reading groups are enjoying their new books: funny characters, topics that are relevant to this age group, and some advanced vocabulary that s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s the brain. Whether they are meeting Freddy, Marvin, Donavan, or Rob(bie) they have been confused, entertained, and intrigued by the main character’s behavior, appearance, and odd situations that seem to take place. The students get ample time to read on their own to meet the needs of their interests and varying levels, but our time together reading and reviewing the group book is one of the favorite parts of the day! Your children are exposed to reading, listening, and speaking within the arena of Reading–books are amazing!

Writing: So, you either have the ‘I really, really do NOT like to write’ or the “Wahoo! It’s writing time!’ type of child. The process so far has included letting the students think about people, places, and events that are important to them–if it’s meaningful, it will be easier to write about. Our process includes writing with pens (or Frindles…ask your child to explain…), skipping lines, and getting input from classmates as well as the teacher. Some of you are the main character of these first writing exercises…my dad, my friend (Janice), and my daughter (Gretchen) have appeared in a few of MY ‘small moment’ tales. BTW: a ‘small moment’ is that little nugget of an event that happened on a regular day, during a vacation, or at any other time of your child’s life. To drive home just how small these moments need to be, I brought in a watermelon (my story about a trip to the beach with friends), cut into quarters (the 4 parts of the trip–the drive, the storm that ruined 2 days of outside time, the dinners and shopping, and the games that we played to occupy ourselves. Within the 4th section of the watermelon, I found a black seed and THAT became the story that I wrote about in great detail (the Dominoes game that lasted for 3 days!). Digging into bigger stories to find the gem is our goal this quarter in Writing.

Whew…it’s time for bed–or at least time for my shower. I’ll add more details in the days to come. I’ve enjoyed the first month of this school year immensely, and I can’t wait to see what the next 8 months hold for us. Each day, time flies because we are having so much fun!

 

 

Week #4

Monday: Solar Eclipse (3PM dismissal)

Math: The students will wrap up addition strategies and rounding to the nearest 10 or 100 early in the week and then our focus will switch to subtraction strategies with continued practice of rounding. Nightly homework has 8 computation problems–students must how all the work they performed to find the solution–and 2 word problems on the back of the page where students are asked to draw a representation of the problem, work it out numerically, and then write a complete sentence that gives the final answer in word form.

Reading: The students are building their stamina while reading, getting more practice with the Daily 5 centers, and finalizing the beginning of the year oral fluency evaluations. We started reading some fun chapter books in the guided reading groups–ask your child to tell you some of the details about the characters, the illustrations, and the main idea (so far) as you engage in conversations about school.

Writing: The students completed a writing pre-assessment to determine which skills we need to focus on while they create personal narratives over the next few weeks. Various other short writing assignments are helping them to build their stamina as writers. We continue to define and practice what the Writer’s Workshop portion of the day should look and sound like.

Spelling/Grammar: Each week there will be a new spelling list and a test on each Friday. A few practice activities are completed in class, but at-home practice will be necessary to prepare your child for the assessment. For the next few weeks, we will review Nouns (singular, plural, regular, irregular, and pronouns).

Social Studies: We have looked at the country and discussed the main regions that the American Indians settled: why did they choose that area? did they create permanent villages or we they nomadic? what natural resources did they depend on? As these next two weeks progress, we will discuss and investigate the Am Indians in the southeast, northeast, plains, northwest, southwest, and Arctic regions.

Logging in to iXL for math, Raz-Kids for reading, and Mackinvia for a variety of reading activities will aid your child’s success in these important subjects. Create flashcards for spelling and math facts, listen to your child read AND read to them, and look for math/numbers everywhere.

Feel free to contact me: [email protected] and I will send out Remind texts throughout the week to keep you up-to-date.

Again, Monday 8/21 is a delayed dismissal day (3PM) and Wednesday 8/30 is an early release date (12PM). Chick-Fil-A Night is this Thursday 8/24 from 5-8PM with teachers siting in the dunk tank! All proceeds donated to SPE, so come on out and join the fun, dunk Mrs. Bernard (me) or several other teachers, and help SPE earn money!

What a great first week!

Parents/Students:

This has been a fantastic first week: thank you for your generosity with the necessary school supplies. We can always use pencils and glue sticks if you happen to find some amazing sales going on.

We are setting up our schedules and procedures for the various subjects. The Blue Folder (plastic, has my name on the front) is for homework, notes, and checked work. Use the ‘Return to School’ side for HW and forms that need to be filled out. Use the ‘Keep at Home’ side for all other papers. The Agenda is for communication purposes from me to you and from you to me. All changes in transportation have to be in the form of a written note (Agenda or on separate paper) or done in person in the office (no phone calls or emails will be accepted as a means to change your child’s dismissal). This is for your child’s safety.

The Sedalia Park Parent Night for 1st, 3rd, and 5th Grade is next Tuesday (Aug 8th) at 6PM. Join us for information about new procedures and the traditional Third Grade activities.

My email: [email protected]

My blog: http://www.cobblearning.net/acbernard

Remind Texts: I entered your primary contact phone numbers into the 3GB class that I’ve set up. If you’d like to add a phone number, you can go to rmd.at/d7ge33 and get the remind app and follow the instructions for joining the class.

Write a note in your child’s Agenda that you visited the blog and they will receive a Panther ‘Pause’!

 

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